Citizen Brown
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Citizen Brown

Race, Democracy, and Inequality in the St. Louis Suburbs

Colin Gordon

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eBook - ePub

Citizen Brown

Race, Democracy, and Inequality in the St. Louis Suburbs

Colin Gordon

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The 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, ignited nationwide protests and brought widespread attention police brutality and institutional racism. But Ferguson was no aberration. As Colin Gordon shows in this urgent and timely book, the events in Ferguson exposed not only the deep racism of the local police department but also the ways in which decades of public policy effectively segregated people and curtailed citizenship not just in Ferguson but across the St. Louis suburbs. Citizen Brown uncovers half a century of private practices and public policies that resulted in bitter inequality and sustained segregation in Ferguson and beyond. Gordon shows how municipal and school district boundaries were pointedly drawn to contain or exclude African Americans and how local policies and services—especially policing, education, and urban renewal—were weaponized to maintain civic separation. He also makes it clear that the outcry that arose in Ferguson was no impulsive outburst but rather an explosion of pent-up rage against long-standing systems of segregation and inequality—of which a police force that viewed citizens not as subjects to serve and protect but as sources of revenue was only the most immediate example. Worse, Citizen Brown illustrates the fact that though the greater St. Louis area provides some extraordinarily clear examples of fraught racial dynamics, in this it is hardly alone among American cities and regions.Interactive maps and other companion resources to Citizen Brown are available at the book website.

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Notes

Introduction

1. This account draws on “Battery Was Dead: Five Children Die before Help Comes,” St. Louis Argus, January 22, 1965; “Five Children Die in County Home Fire,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 18, 1965; “Delay by Firemen Reported in Fire that Took Five Lives,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch (hereafter cited as SLPD), January 18, 1965; “Tragic Fire Spurred Kirkwood Interest in Meacham Park,” Webster-Kirkwood Times, November 14–20, 1986, reprinted March 21, 2008; William H. Freivogel, “Kirkwood’s Journey: Separating Myths and Realities about Meacham Park, Thornton, Part 2,” St. Louis Beacon, February 7, 2010; and Lonnie Speer, Meacham Park: A History (self-pub., 1998), 4.
2. Testimony of Esther Brooks, Transcript on Appeal, vol. 1, p. 139, Brooks et al. v. LCRA, Supreme Court of Missouri (September 1966), Supreme Court file 52147, Brooks v. LCRA, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.
3. Appellant’s Brief, Brooks v. Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (1966), RG 600, Supreme Court Judicial Case Files; Elmwood Park Urban Renewal Plan, October 1964, in Brooks v. Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (1966), RG 600, Supreme Court Judicial Case Files; Final Report of the Grand Jury of St. Louis County (January 1965), in Brooks v. Land Clearance for Redevelopment (1966), RG 600, Supreme Court Judicial Case Files.
4. Appellant’s Brief, Brooks et al. v. LCRA, Supreme Court of Missouri (January 1967), Supreme Court file 52147, Brooks v. LCRA, Missouri State Archives.
5. Final Report of the Grand Jury of St. Louis County (January 1965); Appellant’s Brief; and Transcript on Appeal, 156, all in Brooks v. Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (1966), RG 600, Supreme Court Judicial Case Files.
6. Testimony of Esther Brooks, Transcript on Appeal, vol. 1, p. 137, Brooks et al. v. LCRA, Supreme Court of Missouri (September 1966), Supreme Court file 52147, Brooks v. LCRA, Missouri State Archives.
7. Esther Brooks et al. v. Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis County, No. 52147, Supreme Court of Missouri, Division One, 414 S.W.2d 545, 1967 Mo. LEXIS 978 (March 13, 1967); Esther Brooks et al. v. Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis County, No. 32916, Court of Appeals of Missouri, St. Louis District, 425 S.W.2d 481, 1968 Mo. App. LEXIS 769 (February 1968).
8. This background is drawn from Stephen Deere and Doug Moore, “Charles Lee ‘Cookie’ Thornton: Behind the Smile,” SLPD, May 4, 2008; and Jeannette Cooperman, “The Kirkwood Shootings,” St. Louis Magazine, May 2008.
9. “Defendant’s Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion,” Thornton v. City of Kirkwood, United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri (March 26, 2007), 3, original complaints and summons reproduced on pages 39 and 48; Deere and Moore, “Charles Lee ‘Cookie’ Thornton.”
10. “Defendant’s Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion,” Thornton v. City of Kirkwood, United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri (March 26, 2007), 1, 5; Cooperman, “The Kirkwood Shootings”: Doug Moore, Stephen Deere, and Steve Giegerich, “A Smile That Gave In to Anger,” SLPD, February 9, 2008; Heather Ratcliffe and Greg Jonsson, “Kirkwood Starts Long Road to Recovery,” SLPD, February 9, 2008; Steve Giegerich, “City Attorney: ‘I Had to Fight for My Life,’” SLPD, February 9, 2008; Deere and Moore, “Charles Lee ‘Cookie’ Thornton”; Heather Ratcliffe, “6 Dead in Shooting Rampage at Kirkwood City Council,” SLPD, February 8, 2008.
11. This narrative is drawn from “Anatomy of a Rampage,” SLPD, February 9, 2008, A11; Ratcliffe and Jonsson, “Kirkwood Starts Long Road to Recovery”; Deere and Moore, “Charles Lee ‘Cookie’ Thornton”; Nancy Cambria, “Thornton Moved Fast, Used Two Guns,” SLPD, February 9, 2008; Giegerich, “City Attorney: ‘I Had to Fight for My Life’”; “Racial Tensions Might Have Sparked Kirkwood Shooting,” Columbia Missourian, February 11, 2008; and Stephen Deere, Elizabeth Holland, and Doug Moore, “1 Year Later: Recollections, and Pain, from Those Who Survived Kirkwood Shootings,” SLPD, February 1, 2009.
12. John Elgion, “Michael Brown Spent Last Weeks Grappling with Problems and Promise,” New York Times, August 24, 2014; “A Youth, an Officer and 2 Paths to a Fatal Encounter,” New York Times, August 15, 2014.
13. “A Youth, an Officer and 2 Paths”; Ferguson Mun. Code §§ 44–344; US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department (Washington, DC: Department of Justice, March 2015), 7, 11.
14. Elgion, “Michael Brown Spent Last Weeks Grappling”; “A Youth, an Officer and 2 Paths”; Testimony of Darren Wilson to the Grand Jury (September 16, 2015), and Testimony of Dorian Johnson to St. Louis County Police Department (August 13, 2014), both available in “Documents Released in the Ferguson Case,” New York Times, November 25, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/25/us/evidence-released-in-michael-brown-case.html; “Why Was Michael Brown’s Body Left There for Four Hours?,” SLPD, September 14, 2014.
15. Reim quoted in William H. Freivogel, “Meacham Park Residents Demand Changes in Mediation Agreement,” St. Louis Beacon, February 2, 2010.
16. William H. Freivogel, “Kirkwood Agreement Looks toward Better Race Relations,” St. Louis Beacon, January 22, 2010.
17. US Department of Justice, Community Relations Division, “Mediation Agreement between the City Team of Kirkwood and the Community Team of Kirkwood” (January 22, 2010), http://www.kirkwoodmo.org/mm/files/Mediation%20Agreement.pdf, 1; Tim O’Neil, “Meacham Park Meeting Discusses Race,” SLPD, February 8, 2008; Freivogel, “Kirkwood Agreement Looks toward Better Race Relations”; Minutes of MPNIA-DOJ Meeting (April 28, 2008), and Meacham Park NIA to William Whitcomb (March 28, 2008), both in Supporting Documents to Mediation Agreement (April 2010), http://www.kirkwoodmo.org/mm/files/Mediation-Agreement-Supporting-Documents.pdf; Jeremy Kohler, “As City Recovers, Racial Tension Remains,” SLPD, February 15, 2008.
18. US Department of Justice, “Mediation Agreement between the City Team of Kirkwood and the Community Team of Kirkwood,” 2–8; Freivogel, “Kirkwood Agreement Looks toward Better Race Relations”; Freivogel, “Meacham Park Residents Demand Changes.”
19. See “Former Mayor Swoboda’s Death Casts Pall on Kirkwood Healing Meeting,” St. Louis Beacon, April 2008; William H. Freivogel, “Kirkwood’s Journey: Separating Myths and Realities about Meacham Park,” St. Louis Beacon, February 5, 2010; William H. Freivogel, “Kirkwood Debates Role of Race in Shootings,” St. Louis Beacon, March 20, 2008; Cooperman, “The Kirkwood Shootings”; complaints submitted to MPNIA (April 2008), in Supporting Documents to Mediation Agreement (April 2010), http://www.kirkwoodmo.org/mm/files/Mediation-Agreement-Supporting-Documents.pdf; O’Neil, “Meacham Park Meeting Discusses Race”; Adam Jadhav, Jake Wagman, and Tim O’Neil, “Shooting Reactions Reveal Racial Divide,” SLPD, February 9, 2008; “Editorial: Evil Comes Home,” SLPD, February 10, 2008.
20. “Observations on Social Justice Issues” (n.d.), in Supporting Documents to Mediation Agreement (April 2010), http://www.kirkwoodmo.org/mm/files/Mediation-Agreement-Supporting-Documents.pdf; “Meacham Park: Past, Present, Future,” Webster-Kirkwood Times, March 21, 2008; Community for Faith and Healing, “Executive Summary of Dialogue Sessions (February–May, 2008),” August 2008, at http://www.cfuh.org/execSummary.pdf (website no longer exists); Kohler, “As City Recovers, Racial Tension Remains”; Freivogel, “Meacham Park Residents Demand Changes.”
21. See Nikole Hannah-Jones, “School Segregation, the Continuing Tragedy of Ferguson,” ProPublica, December 19, 2014.
22. Monica Davey, “Lawsuit Accuses Missouri City of Fining Homeowners to Raise Revenue,” New York Times, Nove...

Inhaltsverzeichnis